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Cyber security steps taken at council

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Cyber security steps taken at council

ASSURANCES have this week been given over cyber security at Dumfries and Galloway Council.

It comes after NHS Dumfries and Galloway was hit with a cyber attack, with the health board saying a “significant quantity” of its data was put at risk and that services could potentially be disrupted.

Numerous councils across the UK have seen their systems infiltrated by hackers and this has led to other local authorities stepping up digital security measures.

A failure of cyber security infrastructure could severely impact on the provision of council services to the most vulnerable, loss of personal information, and affect communication with staff.

The council’s audit, risk and scrutiny committee agreed in December 2021 that it would undertake a scrutiny of council-wide risks on a regular cycle.

A report has now been produced for next week’s committee on a recent review of cyber security so that councillors can be informed of the current risk status.

The report reads: “Our council continues to meet the requirements and standards to achieve certifications for UK Government Public Services Network and the National Cyber Security Centre Cyber Essentials.

“Work is being undertaken in conjunction with information governance and resilience colleagues to test departmental business continuity plans and learn lessons where appropriate and necessary. This will allow us to further improve and strengthen our response to an incident.

“Our colleagues are our front line of defence in identifying and preventing cyberattacks. To further assist colleagues with the knowledge and experience necessary to prevent and report these incidents we have updated our training and phishing simulation tools.

“A number of controls are already in place, as are the planned actions to further mitigate this risk.”

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